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Keith Ellison: "Really disappointing" Apple won't pay more taxes than it legally owes [VIDEO]

Ellison thinks a sense of moral obligation should motivate Apple to pay more taxes.
Ellison thinks a sense of moral obligation should motivate Apple to pay more taxes.

During a congressional hearing last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook came under fire for keeping more than $100 billion of the company's money overseas in order to avoid paying American taxes.

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Congress members didn't suggest Apple was doing anything illegal, and the upshot of the hearing was that America's tax code is in dire need of simplification. But short of that happening, Rep. Keith Ellison hopes Cook will realize he "ought to want to help pay the expenses of this country" because without the government's help, Apple woudn't have been successful in the first place.

Or so he said during a weekend appearance on Ed Schultz's MSNBC show.

Here's a transcript of Ellison's comments, followed by the video (h/t: National Review Online):

The American people have got to point out to [Republicans that] taxes aren't a punishment. Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society. You wanna make sure that we have decent infrastructure? Oh, by the way, we had a bridge fall just the other day. You know, there is going to have to be some taxes paid. And it should be fair. And companies like Apple and GE and all the rest of them should pay their fair share...

It seems to me only fair that Apple would step up and help fund the country that has made it possible for them to be successful in the first place. Apple wouldn't be a multibillion-dollar corporation but for the fact that the United States of America made it possible for them to be that successful. It seems to me they ought to want to help to pay the expenses of this country so that everybody can have a fair shot. I think it's really disappointing that they don't.

Ah, if only multinational, multibillion-dollar corporations were motivated by a sense of justice and the civic good rather than profits... then we wouldn't need tax reform.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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